Omar Delgado Macias' career as a b-boy dancer has taken him a few place. As a matter of fact, the performer known as "RoxRite" has battled and busted out his slick moves and fancy footwork on six different continents and in dozens of cities around the globe, such as Tokyo, Moscow, Johannesburg, and Sydney.
And in many of those locations, the world-renowned b-boy has beaten the best of the best to claim first place victories, which is something he's become famous for over most of the last two decades. As of this writing, Macias has notched at total of 85 tournament wins during his 19-year career -- including winning the prestigious Red Bull BC One world championships in 2011 -- and he's made it a major goal to eventually hit 100.
In the meantime, however, Macias is busy spreading knowledge and awareness of b-boy culture around the world and getting others involved in the art form. And he'll be doing just that this weekend in Phoenix.
Tonight at FilmBar, Macias will attend a special screening of the Red Bull-produced online series Break'n Reality that documents how he and three other dancers (including Abaldonado, Kid David, and Paris-born b-girl Jeskilz) train and prepare for the BC One championships.
Getting the next generation into the urban dance style is something that's of great importance to Macias, who was introduced to b-boyism 1995 during his junior high years in California. (It's also why he'll be judging the Red Bull BC One national finals in Las Vegas next month.)
We spoke with him recently via telephone about the subject, as well as the growth of b-boy and hip-hop culture over the last 40 years and how he considers both to be a positive force for change.
What's the series Break 'N Reality all about? It's about the lives of three b-boys. I compete in the lifestyle of a professional dancer who breaks, and season two is about four people, including myself, Ronnie Boy, Kid David, and a b-girl [Jeskilz] at all those events and also what we're doing leading up to world championships of the Red Bull BC One.
So it follows y'all while you're training and competing? Yeah. It follows us around and what we do outside of the event, as well as the training leading up to the event, as well as some of the parts of our everyday lives, like my relationship.
There's some pretty intense training involved with being a b-boy, right? Yeah, definitely. Because a lot of us, we're getting to an older age where we have to start training outside of our dancing as well. When you're doing it when you're young, your body is used to doing certain things and it doesn't require much rest or recovery time. But when you start to grow [older] and you've been dancing for over 10 years, your body starts to wear and tear a little, so you have to find other methods of preparation and usually it has to be with the way you train.
Do people who aren't familiar with b-boyism think its not as intense as it looks? I think they find it hard, I just think they don't understand it as far as what we're actually doing and how much goes into it. I think it's just viewed as this party dance, like they think that of you went to some party and somebody pulls out one of these old breaking moves, they think that that's breaking, but it's way far beyond that.
How much work/time do you spend on a championship routine? Well, I've been doing this for 19 years and it's been like steady practicing almost the whole time I've been doing it. When you have to compete, it just gets just a little more intense, as far as how you're going to be prepared to deliver the best rounds that you can deliver in a battle. So, it would be about every day or every other day. And some days would include workouts and other days would include strictly breaking.
Are you constantly being challenged by newcomers to the b-boy game? Of course, yeah. There's always young talent coming out and coming up as well. So yeah, you need to be able to maintain yourself and stay on top of your game if you want to be able to hang with these young kids that are also developing very fast and growing and growing and trying to make noise. And for someone like myself and some other guys on [Break'n Reality], we've been doing it for so long that we've seen people come and go, so for us to stay relevant and consistent, we have to stay on top of our training and our preparation. This is just what being a good b-boy is about, 'cause breaking is also about having a style. So once you have your style, it's about continuing to make it grow and really developing within that element.
The first season of Break'n Reality featured an episode covering your quest to land 100 victories. Where are you at with that? I'm at 85 now, but I've been teaching and judging a lot in the last year so I haven't been able to compete as much, and I also got hurt this year, one of my ankles, so I had to take a little bit of a break from that. But I'm about to probably compete towards the end of the year and I'll try to get to 100 by next year.
How did you fare at last year's Red Bull MC One is Seoul? Last year, I was ready, I did very well, but I ended up getting sick three days before the conference. I got a flu virus and ended up having a fever, throwing up, and it wound up throwing me off. So the day I went to battle, I felt like my legs weighed like 20 pounds each. So, I wasn't able to do my best or give it my 100 percent. I made top eight, though.
So how do you think you'll fare this year? This year, I don't think I'm doing it. I'm taking a break, because the year I won in 2011, I did it for a few years after that. Sometimes you need to step back a little, kind of get re-inspired, get new ideas, and then bring that back to the stage and try to get another one.
Are there any b-boy competitions in the near future that you'll compete in? Yeah, there's a bunch coming up. There's always events happening. They're going to have some big ones towards the end of the year. But right now, I've just got to start retraining again to get ready for these big events coming up. Honestly, I would rather be ready for next year's event because they're gonna get bigger and bigger. I've got to start preparing. So, honestly, I just got to start preparing now. So definitely my goal is to do a lot of U.S. event and international ones.
You started dancing in junior high. Do you think that all kids should learn b-boyism at an early age? Yeah. Anything within the hip-hop culture is a good outlet for kids to do something positive with their life. Because I think, a lot of people that get involved, they come from what people call the lower class, and when people live in the lower class, they live in a little bit of rougher environments where opportunities are not as easy for them to do something like I do, traveling around the world and doing something that I really love.
I think that hip-hop, within any of the elements -- the art, the music, the DJing, the rapping, or the breaking -- they'll give you somewhere to put your energy and to be creative with it while doing something positive. It definitely gives you an outlook on life and your environment and makes you more aware of what you can do with yourself in your life.
Are you involved at all with the Rock Steady Crew? Nah. My crew's called Renegades. We've been around for 30 years. They started in San Francisco and they recruited me in 2000 from the third generation of the crew. I mean, being out San Francisco is one of the most influential crews of the last 20 years, so we've been able to continuously bring out new talent that has inspired and influenced all over the world.
Do you have any signature moves that define you? There's a few, but I didn't really name them. It's like, if you break, [you] kind of know what like the things that I've incorporated and made popular. There's one thing that's called "Freeze Framing."
So you're holding a pose for a second? You're doing continuous poses to the music. You do a pose, pose, pose, pose, but you do it all within the rhythms of in-between beats.
How did you get connected with the Furious Styles Crew? Me and House [Magana] met back in 1999 at one of the first events I went to in Los Angeles called the B-Boy Summit. I met his crew, his brother, and him there. And throughout the years, I've just always seen him at events. I even came out to Phoenix and judged the [Furious Styles Crew] anniversary in 2006, and they've always been cool supporters of b-boy culture and I've always supported what they're doing and we've had that mutual respect for each other and what we're trying to accomplish in our dance careers. Whatever we can do to help each other out.
What will you be doing in Phoenix this weekend? We're here with three other guys that are part of the Red Bull [BC One All-Stars] team doing workshops [on Saturday] for beginner, intermediate, and advanced dancers, and then we're doing a few pop up showcases in different clubs to promote the national finals that are taking place in Las Vegas in August.
It's free for kids because when we were kids we never had that opportunity to learn from people that we looked up to, so now that we're able to do this through the BC One, it's a great opportunity.
What's the most important lesson for a new b-boy dancer? Well, there's many things. The first classes are your beginner's classes, so you're teaching them the basics. Just kind of to understand the way we move and the steps we use. And then the more advanced one where I talk more and try to explain everything a lot more. That one's more like a class where I show some exercises for some development and the dance.
In breaking, it's all about being an individual and standing on having original moves or finding different moves that we've been doing for years, but doing it with your own style. That's one of the main things we really try preach in our workshop, for everyone to try and find themselves and be creative with what they try to do. And to have fun at the same time. I mean, it's not that serious. You still got to have fun and enjoy it and be creative.
B-boy culture has been around since the 1970s. Do you think it will stick around for just as long and continue to evolve? Yeah, definitely. It's been around for 40 years already and it's continuing to grow. It's even bigger now than it's probably ever been. It's everywhere -- I've been to countries in the Middle East that you would never think would have breakin' there and they do. Some of the guys have toured in Pakistan, there's kids that break there, there's kids that break in Iraq. It's all around the world.
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There's a lot of people that are really getting into it more and more, see the impact on these kids lives. these people that live in these environments where its a lot rougher...and tougher than where we're at...and you can see how much impact that it has on those kids' lives. And everywhere, I don't think it won't stop growing and I don't think it will ever stop.
RoxRite is scheduled to appear at the Red Bull TV screening of Break'n Reality at 8 p.m. on Friday at FilmBar. Admission is free. B-boy workshops with the Red Bull BC One All-Stars will also take place at noon on Saturday, July 26, at Monarch Theatre. Participation is free.